GSP Week 2 Accomodating (June 28 – June 30)

Already living a week in the Valley right now and starting to feel at home. Waking up around a quarter to 08:00, grabbing every day deliciously prepared breakfast, from scones and bagels to chai pudding with healthy nuts and fresh sweet fruits. There are fresh strawberries every single day! The caterers are very vegetarian and vegan-friendly (a lot of the folks here are vegetarian/vegan), so keeping a healthy diet doesn’t cost any effort. On Monday 28th we received a lecture on the Global Grand Challenge of food, how to innovate and disrupt the global food chain and providing consumption of sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain healthy and active lives for all people at all times.

I met the first fellow Dutch guy here in the valley, Mark Post. He is the one who created the first lab-grown meat burger which was being consumed on live television in London in 2013. Costs: 250.000 euros. For lunch we received a flask of Soylent, check it out: After lunch, there was a talk by Paul Saffo about how to be a visionary and innovator. Monday night was founders night. The founders, all previous GSP participants, of MadeInSpace (first 3d printing space company), Matternet (Drone delivery company) and a 3D parts company trying to disrupt the supply chain came to talk about what it is like to be a GSP student and how they build a company out of it.

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On Tuesday we talked about Biohacking and Bioengineering in the morning and are invited to a site visit at BioCurious, a biohacker space here in the Valley. After lunch, we discussed the Global Grand Challenge space. Some startups pitched their ideas and gave us some insights on how to leverage exponential technologies to explore space. In the Wellness hour (every day from 18:00-19:00) I played tennis with Soushiant at the tenniscourt by the NASA offices and in the evening I had a deep learning and machine learning lecture by Jeremy Howard and a GIS-course by Scott Madry. GIS is big-data analytics tool, it is novel way to enter big databases and visualize them to extract the information out of it easily. After the session, Scott decided to change the course in to a jam session. The photo is a typical morning, right before the day starts and the jam session begins.


Wednesday is X-day. Better know as Google X, part of Alphabet and responsible for Google Glass, the self-driving cars, the vertical flying cars and a lot more undisclosed projecs. This day is designed to give us some better knowledge about moonshot-thinking. In the afternoon Anousheh Ansari spoke about being an Astronaut. She was the first female private space explorer. A real-life example of launching moonshots.  Another classic example of moonshot thinking is Elon Musk, the raddest man on earth. In the afternoon we played basketball and had a bad idea brainstorm session.

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On Thursday we started out with Fred Weber, previous CTO of AMD, a chip manufacturing company. He elaborated a little more in depth about Moore’s law, the law that fuels the technology revolution. After this it was my time for ethics, policy and law because with great opportunity comes great responsibility. Right before dinner we had a session about cultivating resilience, trying to get us al in to the growth-mindset instead of the fixed mindset. With hard work you can achieve anything! After dinner I played around a little with setting up a GPS microprocessor and a SMS-service that can track you everywhere you go and if you send a SMS it will automatically fill a database with your GPS coordinates. Quite cool and can be used for various causes. For instance mapping crimes or diseases.

On Friday Neil Jacobstein came back to introduce us on how to use AI in our team projects. Using Kaggle, Experfy and IBM Watson. I also started the Coursera course on Machine Learning, a subset of Artificial Intelligence to learn more about programming Machine Learning. After that Robert Muggah, an expert about fragile cities spoke about future design of cities and James Ehrlich from ReGen Villages. He is going to build a self sustaining society in Almere breaking ground this summer! He invited me to visit his prototype research lab at Stanford University in August and in Almere when I am back in the Netherlands. Lastly the Global Grand Challenge of Governance is being discussed, can we use the trust system of Blockchain to revolutionize democracy?

Just had our weekly wrap up, ending the formal week with some drinks and bites. Tomorrow will be a startup sprint competition, sunday is free so we will go hiking in the Big Sur and Monday is the 4th of July so there is a party American style at the SU Villa. Ciao! 🙂